“Revealed: sport’s dirtiest secret; Third of medals won by athletes with suspicious blood tests.” So read a Sunday Times (London) headline on August 2, 2015.
American newspapers reported on the claims, but primarily remained silent on the matter until November when a name was dropped: Russia.
Then the news kept pouring in and almost daily new information made known one of the largest scandals to rock the world of international sport. Dominating the newsfeed was the Russian Track and Field team and their doping practices. The corruption in Russia ran so deep that in June 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided to prevent the team from participating in this year’s Olympics.
But it wasn’t just the Russians.
And it wasn’t just track and field.
This story first broke in August 2015 after a whistleblower gave The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR access to an immense database containing over 12,000 blood tests from over 5 thousand athletes between 2001 and 2012. The results were astonishing. Almost 1,500 blood tests from more than 800 athletes from 94 countries were found to contain abnormal levels of various substances. 146 medals, including 55 gold and 45 silver, were awarded to athletes with suspicious blood tests.
This was a guest post for Arthur George’s MythologyMatters. Click here to read the remainder of the original post.